4 Recent Odd Movie Trends (That Are Older Than We Think)
The motion picture industry is always changing and evolving, from the advent of sound to the introduction of widescreen to the realization that the world really doesn't need any more Rob Schneider comedies. But it turns out that some of the most recent movie trends we've all been enjoying are a little less newfangled than you might think and, surprisingly, date back decades, such as how …
Post-Credit Scenes Began With Horny Dean Martin, Not Iron Man
Ever since Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark's bachelor pad at the end of Iron Man, Marvel movies have included a bonus scene at the end of an interminable end credit sequence, usually tee-ing up an upcoming entry in their Cinematic Universe – and occasionally just as a joke to make you feel like a big dumb idiot.
Marvel's post-credit frenzy inspired other movies to follow suit, and soon pretty much every blockbuster franchise was shoehorning scenes in after the credits rolled (sometimes, weirdly, involving Hitler). And now, for some reason, audiences seem to expect post-credit scenes in … literally every movie?
But the first example of a post-credit scene hit theaters long before the MCU was a thing, back when Robert Downey Jr. was just a toddler, in the 1966 goofy-as-hell Dean Martin spy movie The Silencers. Following the credits, we get a brief segment featuring Martin, as secret agent Matt Helm, promising to return for a sequel – apparently whenever he's done having sex with roughly 75 half-naked women.
Which we're sure was absolutely no problem for a nearly-50-year-old man with a penchant for heavy drinking.
A Classic Silent Movie Was The Original Top Gun: Maverick
Unlike its predecessor, the wildly successful Top Gun: Maverick famously put the actors into real fighter jets during aerial filming, resulting in a more visceral audience experience … and also a whole lot of vomit.
But Top Gun: Maverick's devotion to authenticity isn't quite as novel as it might seem because a similar strategy was employed on the set of Wings – as in the 1927 silent movie, not the '90s airport sitcom that thankfully ended just before it had to reckon with 9/11.
Wings, the first movie to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, tells the story of two World War I fighter pilots who are in love with the same woman. The massively expensive production was enabled, in part, by the participation of the U.S. War Department (which sounds familiar) and featured aerial battle sequences that are still impressive to this day. Yup, they couldn't crack two people in a room chatting, but they could make this:
Because director William "Wild Bill" Wellman didn't want to "fake it," special motorized cameras were installed on actual planes to film the actors, who also had to act as cinematographers for themselves in the air (as did the cast of Top Gun: Maverick). Unlike the Maverick crew, the Wings actors also had to fly the planes. There was a "safety pilot" onboard in the second cockpit, but they "would have to duck down while the camera was running." If Tom Cruise really wanted to prove himself, he'd travel back in time to the twenties, join the cast of Wings and fly around in one of those old-timey deathtraps while the qualified pilot was forced to hide.
Actors Were Breaking The Fourth Wall Long Before She-Hulk And Ferris Bueller
There's been a lot of talk lately about She-Hulk breaking the fourth wall in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, which was inspired by similar meta moments in the comics and also Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag. But this storytelling device has obviously been used before, in movies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off (which may or may not take place in the same universe as Fleabag).
And there's a long history of movie actors shattering the confines of their reality and addressing the audience; in 1932's Horse Feathers, for instance, Groucho Marx siddles up to the camera during a musical number and says: "I've got to stay here, but there's no reason why you folks shouldn't go out into the lobby til this thing blows over.
And even before that, in the 1918 silent film Men Who Have Made Love to Me, star Mary MacLane “discussed her multiple love affairs directly to the camera, as if she's having a one-way conversation with the audience.” And in terms of using this concession as a running component of a feature film, back in 1966, Michael Caine was a sort of proto-Bueller in Alfie.
Although, sadly, at no point in the film does this swinging British lothario turn into a Hulk.
Movie Trailers Spoiling Everything Isn’t A New Problem
It seems as though movie trailers these days are constantly spoiling key plot details, one of the most recent being the trailer for Nope, which blew several major twists that had previously been kept under wraps. Since many of you may not have had a chance to see the movie yet, here's a video of kittens pretending to be Ninja Turtles instead. Enjoy.
This modern cinematic complaint has been an issue for a long time and was arguably even worse in the past. This was never more evident than in the 1970s; remember the famous ending of Chinatown? Yup, they just threw it in the trailer, complete with the iconic "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown" line.
Similarly, the trailer for Apocalypse Now shows Willard's meeting with Col. Kurtz, and The French Connection even depicts the resolution of its iconic, climactic chase sequence, thus deflating a thrilling scene that people nearly died making.
Most egregious, though, is Soylent Green, which straight-up blows the twist that the titular snack is made of people, thanks to its less-than-subtle trailer.
Then again, the worst offender might be the trailer for Brian DePalma's Carrie, which is basically just the CliffsNotes version of the entire story in two minutes.
And more than a decade earlier, Vertigo blew its third act reveal for some dumb reason.
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